Hungary declares state of emergency due to situation in Ukraine

The state of emergency allows the Hungarian government to issue decrees without parliamentary approval. The state of emergency was already in effect in the country at the beginning of the pandemic and then drew criticism from human rights activists .jpg” alt=”Hungary declared a state of emergency due to the situation in Ukraine” />

Viktor Orban

A state of emergency has been declared in Hungary since May 25 due to the situation in Ukraine, Reuters reports. This was announced by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who said that the government needed room to maneuver to quickly respond to emerging challenges.

The state of emergency gives the head of government the right to issue decrees bypassing parliament. The parliament itself cannot be dissolved during the state of emergency, and in the event of the expiration of its powers, their term is extended until the end of this regime. It is also not allowed to hold elections and referendums during this period.

The last time a state of emergency was introduced in Hungary in March 2020 in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. At that time, this law drew criticism from human rights organizations. In particular, Human Rights Watch considered that the state of emergency, in fact, gives the Hungarian government “unlimited power.” Among other things, the law provided for punishment of up to five years in prison for disseminating false information, and experts feared that it could be used not only to protect public health, but also against journalists, the Guardian and the Washington Post wrote. In addition, the state of emergency was introduced for an indefinite period.

However, the Hungarian government denied these accusations, noting that, according to its information, the majority of citizens supported the introduction of the state of emergency. In June 2020, the state of emergency was canceled.

Now it is being introduced, among other things, against the backdrop of the EU's intention to impose an embargo on Russian oil supplies. Hungary, which imports 60% of its oil from Russia, opposes a possible ban. The country's authorities are demanding a five-year delay from the EU, as well as compensation for the costs of restructuring the fuel and energy industry, adapted to heavy Russian oil.

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